The Kevin Gausman Arbitration Clock Is Now Ticking

The Baltimore Sports world is awash with excitement right now as one of the Baltimore Orioles top prospects is set to make his major league debut against the Toronto Blue Jays tonight. Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman has essentially dominated Double-A Bowie, as fellow BSL writers Luke Jackson and Tucker Blair discussed, and there likely isn’t much more he can learn at that level.

(Discuss this article with us here)

While it will be interesting to see how he performs at the major league level it’s also important to make note of one other area of his career that his promotion impacts – his arbitration status.

For most players to become arbitration eligible they must have accrued at least three years but less than six years of Major League service time. However, some players with less than three years of service time under their belt can become eligible for salary arbitration by meeting the following criteria:

  • If they have less than three years of service time, but more than two.
  • If they accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season
  • If they rank within the top 22% of all 2-year players in terms of service time.

Currently the 2014 project arbitration Super-2 cutoff is 2.119 (two years and 119 days of service time), courtesy of Ryan Galla of CAA Sports.

So what happens with Gausman now that he’s been called up?

Well, it’s really going to depend on if he stays with the team for the rest of the season or not, and begins the year with the team next year as well of course, thus accruing more major league service time. Keep in mind, the Orioles will still have a full six years of team control but instead of the usual three years of arbitration he’s likely to get four now — which increases his earning power substantially during this time.

Just how much of an increase in salary can Gausman expect if he reaches Super Two status?

According to research done by Rob Castellano, a writer for SB Nations New York Mets blog Amazin’ Avenue, he combed through some data to figure up the average salary of Super Two players and also the average increases as well.

Using the league minimum salary for 2013 we can see what this growth looks like with the charts/graphs below:


Broken out side-by-side:


What do the average buy-outs of Super Two players look like?

And now the break-down of the actual numbers:

As you can see, based on the research done by Rob Castellano, just with the increases in arbitration earnings over typical arbitration cases can cost the Orioles upwards of an additional $12M dollars throughout the years of team control they have. It’s possible it could be even higher depending on how good Gausman actually becomes.

Furthermore, if the team decides to buy-out his arbitration years (assuming Gausman would even let them) it could cost them nearly $20M dollars more if they were serious about it.

You can follow me on Twitter @BSLLanceRinker, find out more about me by reading my BSL bio, and even listen to my weekly podcast ‘Bird Talk‘ that I host and produce with fellow BSL’ers Kevin Ebert and Tucker Blair — we talk about the Baltimore Orioles.

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About the author

Lance Rinker    

Lance is the Managing Editor for Konsume, a crowd-sourced news platform driving passionate journalism. In addition to his work on BSL, you can find Lance’s extended portfolio at his profile on Konsume and you can follow him on Twitter.

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